The University of Connecticut (Connecticut or UConn) is the State of Connecticut's land-grant university. It was founded in 1881 and serves more than 28,000 students on its six campuses, including nearly 8,000 graduate students in multiple programs.
Considered a Public Ivy by some higher education specialists, UConn is one of the founding institutions of the Hartford, Connecticut/Springfield, Massachusetts regional economic and cultural partnership alliance known as New England's Knowledge Corridor. It is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. UConn is a member of the Big East Conference.
The University of Connecticut School of Law is located in Hartford, the School of Social Work is on the Greater Hartford Campus in West Hartford, and the School of Medicine and the School of Dental Medicine are both located at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington. There is a downtown Hartford branch that houses teaching and research facilities for the School of Business.
UConn was founded in 1881 as the Storrs Agricultural School. It was named after Charles and Augustus Storrs, two brothers who donated the land for the school as well as initial funding. Women began attending classes in 1891 and were officially admitted in 1893, when the name was changed to Storrs Agricultural College and it became Connecticut's land grant college. In 1899, the name changed again to Connecticut Agricultural College; in 1933, to Connecticut State College; and finally in 1939, to the University of Connecticut.
In 1940, the school was first divided into individual colleges and schools, reflecting its new university status. This was also the year that the School of Social Work and School of Nursing were first established. The graduate program was also started at this time, and existing schools of law and pharmacy were absorbed into the university. Ph.D.s have been awarded since 1949.
During the 1960s, the University of Connecticut Health Center was established in Farmington as a home for the new School of Medicine and School of Dental Medicine. John Dempsey Hospital was opened in Farmington at this time and has been operated by UConn ever since.
In 1995, a state-funded program called UCONN 2000 was passed by the Connecticut General Assembly and signed into law by then-Gov. John G. Rowland. This 10-year program set aside $1 billion ($1,000,000,000) to upgrade campus facilities, add faculty, and otherwise improve the university. An additional $1.3 billion was pledged by the State of Connecticut in 2002 as part of a new 10-year improvement plan known as 21st Century UConn.
UConn offers 105 majors, eight undergraduate degrees,16 graduate degrees and five professional degree programs. Students can choose from 64 different minors at UConn, including some areas of study that are not offered as formalized majors. Some areas of study offered formally only as minors at UConn include: Asian American Studies, Aquaculture, Bioinformatics, Criminal Justice, Film Studies, Human Rights, Middle Eastern Studies, Native American Studies, and Slavic & East European Studies.
Bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs are offered through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences College of Agriculture and Natural Resources the College of Continuing Studies the Graduate School the Neag School of Education the School of Allied Health the School of Nursing the School of Business the School of Dental Medicine the School of Medicine the School of Engineering Office of International Affairs the School of Family Studies the School of Social Work the Ratcliffe Hicks School of Agriculture the School of Pharmacy the School of Law, and the School of Fine Arts
UConn is especially known for its programs in law, health care administration, dentistry, gifted and talented education, and family studies. The University of Connecticut School of Law and the University of Connecticut School of Business are two of the top-ranked public graduate schools of their kind in the nation, and the School of Fine Arts' puppetry department is the most influential in the United States.
According to the U.S. News & World Report's America's Best Colleges listings, the University of Connecticut is a "more selective" national university, placing it in the second out of five tiers of competitiveness when it comes to admissions standards. The university's undergraduate programs are ranked 64 among all national universities tying with the University of Iowa and Purdue University, and placing it well ahead of the other public national universities in New England. Reflecting the university's national status, more than 10,500 out-of-state students apply for admission each year.
UConn participates in the New England Board of Higher Education's Regional Student Program (NERSP), which allows students from the five other New England states to enroll at the university at a reduced out-of-state tuition rate if their intended major is not provided by one of their in-state universities.
The university participates in an articulation agreement with the Connecticut Community Colleges (CCC) that allows students graduating with an Associate's degree to automatically transfer to UConn's Bachelor of General Studies program. A special articulation agreement with Manchester Community College allows graduating students with a 3.5 GPA or higher to enroll in UConn's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Each year, more than 1,000 transfer students are admitted to the university.
In January, 2008, after complaints filed by animal rights group PETA, the University Health Center was ordered to return $65,000 to the National Institutes of Health because of violations of the Animal Welfare Act which occurred during a brain experiment study on monkeys. The lead researcher David Waitzman, whose experiments involved implanting steel coils into the monkeys’ brains to study eye movement, were faulted for causing unnecessary discomfort, stress and trauma. As well, fines were imposed for inadequately trained staff, outdated food and medicine and unsanitary conditions. Waitzman had already been reprimanded by the University’s animal care committee.
There is a wide variety of student organizations on campus, including fraternities and sororities, musical groups (including a cappella), and religious, athletic, political, cultural, business, military, artistic, and community service clubs. There are also student organizations set up with the intent of governing student life itself, such as the Student Union Board of Governors, the Undergraduate Student Government, the InterFraternity Council, the Panhellenic Council, UConnPIRG and the various residence hall councils. The university also has a daily student-run newspaper, The Daily Campus, which is the largest student newspaper in the state of Connecticut. As well as the newspaper, the university has a Huskyvision cable network, channels 14 and 16 at the university. Channel 14 is UCTV, a network consisting of student-made shows. Channel 16 is the UConn Movie Channel, showing recent and not-so-recent movies almost all-day long.
As with most rural schools, most area activities are held on campus, though the university provides free bus transportation to many area events and also arranges frequent bus trips to Boston, Manhattan, and the Connecticut shoreline. Some students, however, express displeasure with the rural location of the campus, leading it to be ranked #13 on the 2005 Princeton Review list of schools with more to do on campus than off.
Some of these parties have led to near-riot situations, characterized by incidents of property destruction and unruliness requiring a sizable police presence every year, thereby giving Spring Weekend a degree of local notoriety. In order to give students more alternative options during that weekend, the Spring Weekend committee advertises all the events occurring for the UConn community.
Approximately 69% of all UConn student-athletes graduate from the university, and almost 50% maintain a 3.0 GPA. The women's lacrosse team had the second-highest team GPA in the country in 2004, and numerous UConn student-athletes, including former basketball star Emeka Okafor, have been named Academic All-Americans. In 2003, the football team was also honored for being one of only seven schools in the U.S. to graduate 80% or better of its members; it was the only public school on the list. UConn is best known for having its men's and women's basketball teams consistently ranked in or near the top 10 in the nation in their respective divisions. The men's team won NCAA Division I titles in 1999 and 2004, and the women have won in 1995, 2000, 2002, 2003, and 2004. In 2004, the University of Connecticut became the first and only Division I school to win National Championships in both men's and women's basketball during the same year. Additionally, UConn is a perfect 7-0 in National Championship games played. Because of the UConn basketball teams' success, along with its image as a party school, UConn has been called "a drinking school with a basketball problem." In 2008, the men's team was upset by the 13th seeded San Diego Toreros in the NCAA Championship tournament. They lost in overtime, 70-69; it was the first time the Huskies have been ousted in a first round matchup. The women's basketball - ranked No. 1 for most of the season - lost to Stanford in the Final Four in Tampa, Florida ending their season at 36-2. In addition to its basketball success, UConn is known for its championship soccer teams, which have the highest average attendance in the nation for both men's and women's teams. The men's team has been the national champion three times (1948, 1981, and 2000), while the women's soccer team advanced to the NCAA National Championship title game in 1984, 1990, 1997, and 2003.
UConn also is a national power in Field Hockey, having advanced to the Final Four 9 times and winning the National Championship in 1981 and 1985.
UConn football moved up to Division I-A status in 2000 and became a full Big East member in 2004. The Huskies had their first bowl victory in the 2004 Motor City Bowl. In 2007, the football team recorded their first national ranking, climbing as high as 14th in the BCS standings. The 2nd fastest a new Division I-A team has been nationally ranked, the Huskies were rewarded with a trip to the Meineke Car Care Bowl.
Other intercollegiate sports offered are baseball, men's and women's track and field/cross country, field hockey, men's golf, women's rowing, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, and women's volleyball.
"Jonathan's" was the name of a fast food restaurant in the south end of the Student Union building until that section was closed for construction. A statue of Jonathan can also be found outside near the entrances to Gampel Pavilion and the natatorium. This statue, by artist Larry Waisele, was dedicated in 1995. Students are known to rub its nose for good luck, though it is also common to see students climbing on top of the statue to "ride" it.
The UConn fight song, officially titled UConn Husky but commonly called The Husky Fight Song, is one of the most recognizable in the country, due in large part to its frequent playing by the Pride of Connecticut during nationally televised sporting events. Written by Herbert France in the late 1940s, the lyrics to UConn Husky are as follows:
A Macromedia audio presentation of UConn Husky is available on the UConn Alumni Association website. A full history of the song can be found on the UConn Advance website.
The colors of UConn are white and national flag blue, though small amounts of red often appear on athletic uniforms. The Pantone standard for the exact shade of blue used is #281.
The visual symbol of the university is the oak tree, which is also the state tree of Connecticut. This is because the Latin word for oak, robur, also refers to moral and physical strength. The oak leaf appears on the university symbol and next to the word UConn on official letterhead.
The main library is the Homer D. Babbidge Library, formerly the Nathan Hale Library, at the Storrs campus, which underwent a $3 million renovation that was completed in 1998, making it then the largest public research library in New England. The Storrs campus is also home to the university's Music and Pharmacy libraries, as well as the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, home to the university's archives and special collections, including international, federal, and state document and manuscript collections. Each of the regional campuses also have their own libraries, including the Jeremy Richard Library at UConn-Stamford and the Trecker Library in West Hartford. These libraries are tied into the Babbidge library through a shared catalogue.
The Babbidge-based collection, which places UConn among the top 30 universities in the nation for both library holdings and funding, contains more than 2.5 million print volumes; approximately 2,500 current print periodicals; more than 35,000 unique electronic journals available through the eJournal locator; 2.8 million units of microform; 180,000 maps at the Map and Geographic Information Center (New England's largest public map collection); thousands of electronic books; and an array of free electronic information sources. The UCL also license approximately 265 electronic search databases, many of which contain the full-text of research journals, monographs, and historic documents. Members of the UConn community can access these resources from off-campus by logging in to the VPN with their netID and password.
The Lyman Maynard Stowe Library, which is housed at the University of Connecticut Medical Center, is one of eight federally-funded National Network of Libraries of Medicine libraries. The University of Connecticut School of Law houses the School of Law Library at its campus in Hartford. The Stowe and Law libraries have catalogues separate from the Babbidge system, making the total library holdings of the University of Connecticut much higher than the 2.5 million print volumes of Babbidge.
Additionally, UConn is the home of the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, which is the world's most comprehensive survey and public opinion data library.
In addition to their own libraries, UConn participates in outside library consortia, including the New England Law Library Consortium. The Dodd Research Center has also formed a partnership with the African National Congress to share materials with South African scholars.
The most notable athletic facilities are:
21st Century UConn is the continuation of UConn 2000 and is another billion dollar construction investment by the state of Connecticut to upgrade facilities at the University of Connecticut. It passed the Connecticut General Assembly and was signed into law by Governor Rowland in 2002. By the time of the project's completion, every building on campus will be either new or completely renovated. Money has also been put into the regional and satellite campuses, such as the new School of Business facility in downtown Hartford.